SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — As Israel continues to mourn following the attack, the Jewish Community in Lackawanna County came together to support the country.
The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Scranton welcomed the entire community to gather with them this evening to pray for Israel.
The auditorium was filled with those in the Jewish community, and those outside of it looking to give their support.
Hundreds became one within the JCC of Scranton on Monday as they gathered together following the escalation of violence in Israel over the weekend.
“At a time when we’re supposed to be celebrating the sabbath and the joy of simchat torah, we found ourselves heartbroken,” said Jewish Community Center of Scranton Executive Director Dan Cardonick.
The JCC welcomed those within and outside of the Jewish community to publicly support and pray for Israel.
Several speakers took a stand in solidarity with the victims of the attack.
“The house mourns the over 700 Israelis killed and over 2,000 others wounded in Hamas’s unprovoked attack on Israel,” said Representative Matt Cartwright.
“We come together to comfort one another, but to unite and also stand together and support Israel. Many members of our Jewish community have deep and strong connections to Israel,” said Cardonick.
Neill Ackerman of Scranton is one of those members and his daughter lives in Jerusalem. She said she’s hearing the attacks from Hamas in real-time.
“She said they’re very scared, that she hears the rockets coming over Jerusalem. They have to stay in a bomb shelter with her two children, no school anymore,” Ackerman explained.
Many others who attended didn’t have direct ties to Israel, but understood the urgency of the recent attacks.
“As a Jewish person, who all my life has experienced a lot of anti-semitism, the best word I can say is I’m sick. I’m sick about it,” said Scranton resident Harold Kornfeld.
After the community rallied, shared, and prayed, the evening ended with a song of peace.
“Although we’re here and far away, and we’re not on the front lines but our prayers and our concerns I know are appreciated by my daughter and all of her friends in Israel,” Ackerman said.
If you are interested in supporting Israel and donating to the Jewish federations of North America, information can be found online.